Are you buying a lemon?

Published on December 4th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Nonetheless, engine problems seem to be next in line, accounting for 15 percent of the total claims. The lengthy list of dissatisfactions is linked to interior blemishes, odometer fraud, faulty batteries and so on and so forth.

Choice survey aims at helping Australian car owners

study conducted by Choice was meant to pinpoint where each car brand stands, and highlight the problems they are mostly associated with. That is supposed to come in handy for new-car buyers. Whereas it’s true that the greater part of reported issues were overall minor, nearly 14 percent of new-car owners dealt with major problems, which prevented their vehicles from functioning properly. According to the survey, Holden holds the reign when it comes to complaints – 68 percent of owners have reported a malfunction, being high above Audi and Ford.

Even Toyota, which is acknowledged as a high-quality, reliable brand in Australia caused problems in 50 percent of the cases. Mazda, apparently, holds a good spot in the survey, being rated at 44 percent. As opposed to the studies conducted in the U.S., the one carried out by Choice is relevant for the Australian consumer body.

A primary concern is that owners are frequently required to sign confidentiality agreements, in case their new cars are in need of repairing. On that account, the research specifically illustrates that car companies are eager to cover up the scale of problems associated with the cars they produce. For that reason, they enforce customers to sign nondisclosure agreements, which put them in an awkward position.

It’s crystal clear that such a practice is, by all means, unacceptable, especially as we’re talking about significant purchases, such as vehicles. Not to mention that many of the problems were connected to vehicle safety.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries argues study findings

However, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries that officially represents car companies disputes the claims. They affirm that new-car owners in Australia benefit from long warranties, in comparison with other countries in the world. It appears that the growing competition in the vehicle market implies that the FCAI members’ primary objective is to offer support. In the same respect, they claim that these kinds of surveys are, by all means, inconsistent, unless the research determines the cause.

Nonetheless, Choice reports that 15 percent of the people who encountered problems with their newly-bought vehicles were unable to solve them. It would seem that some companies aim at solving consumer problems, as opposed to others.

Brand and percentage with problems

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